Billingsgate Records


Billingsgate Records (or just "Billingsgate") is a small independent record label established 1973 in Chicago, Illinois. They were the first North American label to specialize in German rock, issuing the debut LPs of NEU!, Lucifer's Friend, and Scorpions, plus Frumpy and Epitaph releases. The inner sleeves listed the following Billingsgate artists: Lucifer's Friend · Epitaph · Scorpions · Frumpy · Jane · Neu! · Elias · Guru Guru, although there's no evidence of any Jane or Guru Guru releases. The mysterious "Elias" could be Grobschnitt (Elias Grobschnitt was their GEMA registered name). After being taken over by Passport Records they issued a further two Lucifer's Friend albums.


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  • Enidi's avatar
    Guru, Guru and Jane supposedly were not distributed by Billingsgate...however their names were listed on the inner sleeves of the albums as being so. Evidently this label out of Chicago was giving many German bands a chance to prove themselves in America. Their music was not commercially viable ...however many teenagers in my age group discovered the albums in budget bins and greatly enjoyed them. Unfortunately they went out of print before I could collect them all and so by the grace of Jem Records mail order business...It was possible to find the titles as imports. Many of these bands I had expected to see opening for major Rock acts in the 70's. Probably some of them in fact did, but there certainly wasn't enough promotion of these bands during the early 70's for it to mean anything to anyone in particular short of hard core supporters. Decades ago I had heard a soundboard recording of Lucifer's Friend in concert a theater or club in Germany. There was piano on "Rose On The Vine" ..which was an amazing thing to hear live. The band covered material from their first two albums and it was outstanding! It is difficult for me to digest that someone...somewhere...couldn't have gone the distance and had this concert officially released. Guru, Guru were so incredibly tight as a unit and their albums are a must for any fan of "Space Rock" or "Jazz Fusion". I remember driving great distances to find their imported albums...which at the time were on "Atlantic Records". This was a fascinating period